Qatar set unwanted record as they become first host nation to lose World Cup opener EVER following Ecuador defeat

    QATAR became the first World Cup hosts to lose their tournament opener as Ecuador ‘s 2-0 win produced a string of stuttering stats.

    Enner Valencia struck twice in a one-sided first half and had a third-minute opener ruled out by VAR as the first World Cup finals held in the Middle East kicked off in stifling heat.

    Qatar supporters look dejected after Ecuador won the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match against Qatar at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha on November 20, 2022. (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP) (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP via Getty Images)

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    Qatar supporters look dejected after Ecuador won the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match against Qatar at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha on November 20, 2022. (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP) (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP via Getty Images)Credit: AFP
    AL KHOR, QATAR – NOVEMBER 20: Abdulaziz Hatem of Qatar gestures during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group A match between Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. (Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

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    AL KHOR, QATAR – NOVEMBER 20: Abdulaziz Hatem of Qatar gestures during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group A match between Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. (Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)Credit: Getty

    And amid all the debate about whether Qatar are suitable hosts off the field, the early figures suggest they are  unsuitable opponents on it.

    In the previous 22 tournaments, the hosts have won 16 of their opening matches and drawn six.

    And Qatar had ZERO efforts on target – a feat achieved by teams only four times throughout the whole 2018 tournament.

    In all, the match had just 11 goal attempts – the lowest total for an opener since records began with England’s triumphant hosting of the 1966 tournament.

    Maybe that’s why many home fans streamed out during the interval – leaving huge gaps in the stands.

    And if Valencia’s volley had been allowed in the initial stages it would have been the fastest ever goal in a World Cup opener.

    Fenerbahce’s former West Ham attacker did, though, soon bag the only penalty opening goal ever for a tournament.

    And it could have been much worse had Ecuador not eased up in the second half.

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    Qatar are likely to face even tougher opposition in their remaining two Group A games – Senegal and Holland.

    FIRST GAMES FOR WORLD CUP HOSTS

    1930 Uruguay – beat Peru 1-0
    1934 Italy – beat USA 7-1
    1938 France – beat Belgium 3-1
    1950 Brazil – beat Mexico 4-0
    1954 Switzerland – beat Italy 2-1
    1958 Sweden – beat Mexico 3-0
    1962 Chile- beat Switzerland 3-1
    1966 England – drew 0-0 vs Uruguay
    1970 Mexico – drew 0-0 vs Soviet Union
    1974 West Germany – beat Chile 1-0
    1978 Argentina – beat Hungary 2-1
    1982 Spain  – drew 1-1 vs Honduras
    1986 Mexico – beat Belgium 2-1
    1990 Italy – beat Austria 1-0
    1994 United States – drew 1-1 vs Switzerland
    1998 France – beat South Africa 3-0 
    2002 Japan/ South Korea: S Korea 2 Poland 0, Japan 2 Belgium 2
    2006 Germany – beat Costa Rica 4-2
    2010 South Africa – drew 1-1 vs Mexico
    2014 Brazil – beat Croatia 3-1
    2018 Russia  – beat Saudi Arabia 5-0
    2022 Qatar – lost 2-0 vs Ecuador

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